Our research aims to reflect on rural communities’ awareness and perceptions of various energy sources, particularly focusing on renewable energies. We argue that there is an urgent need to expand the knowledge base on the perspectives of rural communities directly and indirectly affected by renewable energy installations. From an empirical point of view, our study focuses on the Lipno county in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship (Poland), where a relatively unique constellation of renewable energy and local community is emerging. Our findings indicate a wide awareness about renewable energies in the community, but a rather shallow, imbalanced, and outdated knowledge on potentials, advantages and disadvantages of individual locally available renewable energy sources was detected. To break deeply rooted carbon dependency and lock-in and to trigger mechanisms of change leading to more sustainable futures, practical, contextual, and place-based knowledge is essentially needed to shape responsive attitudes. We claim that personal experience of the effects of renewable energy installation (especially small-scale ones) can be a proxy for the change and scaling up. This is a key because it proves the leading role of an inclusive approach to developing renewable energy in rural areas. Locals undertake new energy investments, which is the basis of spatial (territorial) distribution justice – they not only bear the costs of operating new energy installations but also derive tangible benefits from renewables.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Business and Economics, Business Management, Industries, Environmental Management, Geosciences, Geography